SPRECKEN SIE PENNSYLVANIA(ISH)
By Cindy O. Herman
NOW, IF YOU AND A FRIEND WERE STANDING IN LINE AT THE CASH register of a busy store and found out you had missed some money-saving coupons at the front of the store, what would you call out to your friend as she hurried off to pick one up? If your first thought was, “Pick me up one,” you might be Pennsylvania Dutch.
Dutchified expressions like that can be heard all over Central Pennsylvania. “Drop it off” is a common enough phrase around the country, but a friend once told me her Pennsylvania Dutch coworker said instead, “Stop it down.” In fact, on Fasnacht Day, when local churches are selling delicious, fresh doughnuts, you could ask someone to “pick me up one,” and then tell them to stop it down at your desk, perhaps after they’ve fressed on their own fasnacht.
If you’re not Pennsylvania Dutch and you’ve got the willpower of a skinny super model, you might set your doughnut aside to eat later. But if you are Pennsylvania Dutch, then setting it aside means setting it next to, or beside, something, as in, “set it aside my computer and I’ll eat it as soon as I get some coffee.” And you’ll want to get that coffee fast because those doughnuts are too tempting to be setting aside your computer for long.
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